Saturday, 16 January 2016

Fallout 4 Review

Fallout 4 doesn't do a lot to reinvent the post-apocalyptic wheel but with a few new additions, some clever tweaks to existing mechanics, a vibrant world and a great story Bethesda have made the finest Fallout yet.

Fallout 4 is Bethesda's best yet
The story, at its core, is about family and love and the genius of it is that the story of your character is small scale and personal but it weaves in and out of a world of ideological differences, technology and survival. The game takes you from before the war and has you meet a number of factions, with old favourites like The Brotherhood of Steel facing off against new ones like The Institute. Its written and acted well, the conversational choices are fairly interesting and due to the faction system there are multiple endings which allow for some pretty interesting ethical dilemmas.

The world of The Commonwealth is superb, an amazing mix of rag tag settlements, run down urban areas, raider camps and high tech installations. There's also The Glowing Sea, a vast irradiated wasteland which, honestly, is as awesome as it is deadly (and it's pretty lethal). There are the usual Mole Rats, Super Mutants and Deathclaws but there are new additions like Synths. Synths are created by The Institute and are effectively synthetic humans with older generations looking like robots and the newer ones effectively like Terminators.

Graphically speaking it can't compete with most current gen games but with a good draw distance and a mix of colour and post-apocalyptic bleakness there is a world that  is good looking despite not being MGS V. It also helps that the soundtrack, as always in Fallout, is perfect.

The big new addition to the gameplay is the settlement and crafting system. You can build your own settlements, with farming, water, traders and defences. You can also modify weapons and armour, you can even name them! Plus the settlement is a great place to store the power armour sets you can collect, just remember to remove your Fusion Cores or someone will walk off in it. The settlement system is pretty cool but its relevance really depends on how you like to play Fallout games. I like being a semi-psychotic lone wanderer so I don't want to secure new areas for settlements and develop a network of new civilisations, but if that's your thing then great!

The best thing about the game? Power Armour! 
Otherwise gameplay is pretty much like it always has been in Fallout. There’s V.A.T.S, perks, first person, third person, dungeons, special weapons to find. You know the drill. There are also plenty of Bethesda glitches, with companions sometimes blocking doorways, enemies glitching through objects and the odd bit of frame rate stuttering.

The thing is, it doesn't matter that there are glitches, it doesn't matter that there is no huge next gen leap in terms of this game’s quality from New Vegas or Fallout 3, what matters is that Bethesda have created a world that is more dense, more alive and more enjoyable than any they have created previously. This RPG is fun, it encourages freedom and replayability and whether you want to focus on the main story right away, later on or never, there are quests and stories to keep you interested.

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